So, I was able to scrape by two weeks of travel time for this month of May. It was a hard decision because I wanted to go to Yosemite Valley, but they’re getting WORKED by the weather gods this season, and still even this week they’re getting lots of snow, seems like everything is wet. such a bummer. So, my friend Pee Wee and I drove down to Joshua Tree, which is a good 7 hours south of Sacramento, CA, and about as far So as So Cal gets.
The weather here too has been FREAKY, 95 degrees one day, then 60 and cold and windy the next, last night I froze my ass off in the van, as though it was January, I never would have thought May could be like this, it’s anybody’s guess. But for the most part, it’s just what we expected, the sun is warm and the rock is chossy :) We are making attempts on Stingray, but they are few and far between, like one try every other day. I tried the climb back in February, and it’s truly an amazing line, tight fingers and steep and leaning. I flashed the crux moves on TR, and thought it felt like a 5.13b-ish. I was expecting to do the route in a day or two. But then, UNFORTUNATELY, on my second attempt, I broke the most crucial foothold on the climb, and now, it’s really hard, probably solid 5.13d. But it’s hard to say because it’s so f ‘n painful. I haven’t stuck the crux yet, but I can link from there to the top, so it might happen any day now, unless I tear a huge flapper, or blow out my elbows, both of which are highly possible, at the same time even.
Back in Squamish, about two weeks ago, I climbed a project of mine which I was really happy about. An overhanging arete. It’s the sort of feature you look up at and WISH it had holds on it. This one did, but barely. I tried the line last spring, and found the tiny crimps that linked it all together. It’s incredible movement, knee drops, slopers, heel hooks, lots of squeezing, and a very tedious mantle. I tried it a few days and was able to link it once or maybe twice, but then it got hot, summer hit, and then my appendix ruptured at the very end of August, which ruined my fall season. And so it sat all winter. This spring I went back, and TR’d it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was much stronger than last year. I did the moves quickly and linked it twice in a row on my second day. I guess the bouldering paid off. I reckon the line is a 5.11 to a V10/V11 to a 5.12b. It’s the direct start to Big Daddy Overhang, so we called it Sugar Daddy, and I suggested a rating of 5.14 because of it’s bouldery nature, an endurance climber might find it hard, a boulderer might find it easy. We shall see what others suggest. It’s a brilliant little challenge, incredible movement. I hope it gets climbed on again soon and repeated, it’s so good.
Okay, so that’s it for now, I have very little time and energy to be writing my journal, I have a guitar to buy and play, lunch to make, a tan to work on, and some beer to drink. Best wishes to all, thanks for popping in and reading this nonsense.
This is me sticking the last hard move before the mantle, the gear goes in a horizontal crack behind a large flake about a body length below my feet. And below is local boy Andrew Boyd, after the mantle but before the 5.12b finger crack. I swear it’s Soooo gooooood :) Please come and try it, you’ll love it.